One Year Older, Ten Years Wiser

2 commentsFamily,Writing

Souly does a good job ban­dag­ing me up.

Achtung! If you’re squea­mish or are Nadia El Hage, brace your­self. This sto­ry is bloody.

Next week we cel­e­brate Souly’s birth­day. Many take New Year’s Eve, Christ­mas, or Valen­tine’s Day to rem­i­nisce and make res­o­lu­tions. For me, the fact that the Earth has com­plet­ed one more rev­o­lu­tion around the sun, that a wise man was born 2000 years ago, or that some choco­late com­pa­nies want to make mon­ey means very lit­tle to me. There­fore I don’t par­take in the gid­dy excite­ment that sur­rounds those occa­sions (though I don’t mind those who do).

But the birth of my best friend is one thing I do get excit­ed about. So I find myself look­ing back at that May day (may­day!) one year ago.

We’re at Pangéa, a beau­ti­ful and some­what seclud­ed resort just south of Beirut, at a rent­ed bun­ga­low with our own yard and jacuzzi. This all sounds very posh, but it’s actu­al­ly quite afford­able. Twen­ty of us eat, drink and splash about all night. It’s pret­ty sil­ly and lots of fun (hey that’s what birth­days should be, no?). By dawn, some have left, oth­ers have crashed in the dif­fer­ent rooms of our bun­ga­low, and all who remain are The Three Wise Men: Souly, Shi­bly, and Meedo.

After mak­ing the best of the jacuzzi, the fact that we had no shorts on, and my under­wa­ter cam­era (boys will be boys), it’s time to clean up. Arm­ful by arm­ful, we car­ry the half-emp­ty bot­tles from our yard to a dump­ster a few feet away. It takes sev­er­al trips back and forth to get most of the work done because the bun­ga­low is a few steps high­er than the rest of the complex.

As we move our last few bot­tles, I get the bril­liant idea to shave a few min­utes off my lap time by jump­ing off the steps instead of tak­ing them one by one. What makes the idea even more bril­liant is that I don’t think to set down the Smirnoff bot­tle from my hand before doing that. So, with infi­nite grace and agili­ty (not helped by some alco­hol and no sleep), I take a leap and land bot­tle-first on the ground below. The glass shat­ters into a mil­lion tiny pieces, at least eight of which lodge deep into my hand.

Blood every­where. My first reac­tion: “Souly! Quick get the first aid kit!” My sec­ond: “Shi­bly! Quick get the cam­era!” Sing in a high-pitched Mari­ah Carey voice: And then a hero comes along. Souly puts his years of out­door expe­ri­ence to good use. He cleans up my wound with some salt and water and wraps it up. I’m fine for now.

Souly’s done a great job, but half an hour lat­er I find the bleed­ing has­n’t stopped. The cuts are deep­er than we thought and it’s clear I’m going to need stitch­es. Souly and Shi­bly are asleep, so I grab my car keys and make my way out (but not before, in my dazed and con­fused log­ic, I take Souly’s cell­phone so he can call me — but hey, that’s anoth­er story).

I get stitched up.

My father works his magic.

I dri­ve back to Beirut and after bleed­ing all over ten flights of stairs (the ele­va­tor was bro­ken) and leav­ing a note to the neigh­bors that nobody died, I wake up my father (a full-time doc­tor and wiz­ard) and get stitched up at the hos­pi­tal next door.

A lot has hap­pened since that day one year ago. And now thanks to Souly, Shi­bly, and my won­der­ful friends, I’ve learned to look before I leap.


Needle-phobic Nadzo May 13, 2010 at 3:45 pm

I appreciate the warning, although it's not the blood i have a problem with...
*faints* You just had to put the needle picture up didn't you! :P
I'll admit it though, that's got to be the nicest looking needle i'v ever seen.
Now if you'll excuse me, m going to go ingest some sugar and put my feet up

Meedo May 13, 2010 at 3:49 pm

I know, but "This story is needlely" doesn't have enough zing. :)

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